Save a whole working week by streamlining school admissions!

Will Conolly

Published in Applicaa | April 15, 2024

I understand the importance of a streamlined admissions process for school administrators, parents, and students. Below, I break down the process into four distinct stages which I hope will make you reconsider the traditional admissions landscape.

Table of Contents

  1. An Easy-to-Follow Customer Journey
  2. Ensuring Data Accuracy
  3. Embracing Automation and Integration
  4. Five Takeaways for Schools to Improve Administrative Processes and Parent Engagement


Reducing Admin-Heavy Tasks

The first stage in streamlining the admissions process is reducing the administrative burden on school staff. By leveraging technology, namely Admissions+, schools can automate tasks such as scheduling meetings and tours. Imagine a platform where parents can independently book a suitable meeting time without any back-and-forth communication. This digital transformation saves time and enhances the overall experience for parents.

Communication is another area where efficiency can be significantly improved. Schools can send personalised messages en masse with a robust platform, eliminating the tedious mail merge process. 

The collection of essential documents becomes a breeze. Parents are able to upload vital records like passport photos and birth certificates directly to the platform, negating the need for in-person submissions of hard copies. 

How about a platform that also allows you to manage all of those intricate events surrounding admissions too? Open Days, Information Evenings, Taster Days, Transition Days and the list goes on. Schools are looking to reduce the number of platforms they are buying into so why not use Admissions+ to organise (and advertise) not only admissions related events but also whole school events like Sports Days and Prize Giving events?

An Easy-to-Follow Customer Journey

The admissions process should be a clear and straightforward journey for parents. Schools can significantly reduce the often occurring back-and-forth with parents by incorporating straightforward questions and mandatory fields within the application or data collection form. An intuitive and user-friendly platform that allows for the love saving of progress is really important, allowing prospective parents and students to complete the process in stages, if they so wish. No parent wants to face a daunting 20-page paper application in today’s digital age. The ease with which one can complete the application in stages online can make all the difference in parent engagement.

Ensuring Data Accuracy

Accuracy of data is critical in the admissions process. It is vital for correctly populatinga school’s Management Information System. By incorporating dropdown data choices and predefined options in application forms, schools can ensure that the data entered by parents is consistent and accurate. This greatly benefits data managers during census times and safeguarding leads who require precise contact details for all the stakeholders involved.

Embracing Automation and Integration

The final stage is where efficiency is realised. Automation allows schools to send follow-up messages and reminders without manual intervention. The seamless integration of the admissions platform with the school’s MIS means that data is transferred automatically, eliminating manual data entry. Consider that it likely takes a minimum of 15 minutes per pupil when manually transferring data from a paper application form (or spreadsheet) in to the MIS. Imagine doing this for a cohort of 150 students – that equates to a staggering 37.5 hours which is effectively a whole work week. If you worked out the staffing costs (plus on-costs) that is a significant amount of money without even considering the other significant efficiencies an admissions platform like Admissions+ would offer.

Five Takeaways for Schools to Improve Administrative Processes and Parent Engagement:

Digitise Document Submissions:

Enable parents to digitally upload necessary documents (e.g. passport photos, previous school reports, predicted grades and birth certificates) through your platform to streamline administrative tasks and reduce paperwork.

Simplify Application Processes:

Design clear and user-friendly data collection forms with compulsory questions for progression, ensuring an easy and straightforward application journey for parents.

Ensure Data Accuracy:

Implement dropdown data choices in forms to guide parents in providing accurate information, facilitating seamless integration into your MIS for improved data quality.

Automate Communication and Follow-ups:

Utilise automated messaging systems to send reminders, updates, and follow-up communications to parents, reducing manual efforts and enhancing parent-school communication.

Integrate MIS for Efficiency:

Integrate your platform with your MIS to automate data flow, saving time and effort on manual data handling tasks ultimately increasing operational efficiency within the school administration.

Will Conolly